Join with Knitted Knockers to offer comfortable breast prostheses to women who’ve survived breast cancer and had mastectomies
For many women, breast cancer is their worst nightmare.
Of course, the “c-word” is terrifying for any person, man or woman. But when cancer strikes the breast, it strikes a part of the body that for many women is at the heart of femininity.
And in turn, having a mastectomy – that is, surgery to remove one or both breasts – can be a terrible blow on a woman’s self-esteem.
Because 1 out of every 8 women will experience breast cancer in their lifetime, this is an enormous problem.
Here’s the exciting news: knitters can help these women turn around a seemingly hopeless situation.
Discovering a New Prosthetic for Mastectomy Patients
Prosthetic breasts have been around for quite some time. However, for many women they are not the right answer.
Reason number one: patients can’t use them immediately after their surgeries. Surgeries, of course, require stitches that need time to heal. Since traditional prosthetic breasts are made of silicone, they can’t be worn next to the skin.
Reason number two: they’re expensive. Sometimes insurance will cover the cost, but often it won’t.
Reason number three: they tend to be uncomfortable. Many women have found them hot and heavy. (Not hard to believe… imagine keeping a piece of silicone next to your bare skin, trapped by the fabric of your bra. No thank you!)
All of these are exactly why knitted prosthetic breasts — aka Knitted Knockers — are the perfect solution for many women who’ve had mastectomies.
Knockers are soft, lightweight, and thus completely comfortable. There’s no excess sweating, they’re machine-washable, and it’s easy to adjust the fit (just add or remove stuffing as needed).
And best of all, thanks to organizations like Knitted Knockers, women can receive them 100% free of charge!
As Knitted Knockers (the organization) likes to say, “Our mission is connecting volunteer knitters (and crocheters) with breast cancer survivors to provide free knitted knockers.
“We did not invent knitted knockers but rather approached the young woman in Maine who had named them after making some for herself to see if I could use the name and share them freely with others. She was thrilled as she was no longer able to.”
Today, Knitted Knockers has over 500 registered groups all over the world – in fact, groups exist in 25 countries!
We recently sent 100 knitted knockers to the women of Rwanda where reconstruction is not an option for most women. We are working with them to provide them with the resources to make them for themselves in the future.Knitted Knockers
How You Can Help Breast Cancer Survivors with Knitted Knockers
You can learn all about Knitted Knockers at their website. Read the “How We Got Involved” page to learn how the group started. And if you really want to get inspired, read the Testimonials page to hear directly from recipients of Knockers.
You can help with the Knitted Knockers mission in three ways.
First, download some of their free patterns and get knitting! If you (or a friend) prefers to crochet, you’ll find crochet patterns available, too. You’ll even find loom knit patterns and instructions for duplicate-stitching a heart onto the Knocker.
This page has lots of other resources as well, including approved yarns, care instructions, brochures for medical offices, and more.
Knitted Knockers sends over 200 a week to women all over the world, completely free of charge. So you can see that the need always exists!
Photo: Mary Jo
You can register here on the Knitted Knockers website, and they will offer you all the information you need to find suitable recipients for your Knockers. Conversely, you can take a look at registered Knitted Knockers groups and stores on this page.
Finally, if you would like to support Knitted Knockers in other ways, you can contribute to them financially. They are a 501(c)3 nonprofit, so donations may be tax-deductible. The easiest way to donate is through PayPal; you can do this on their website.
Note: many organizations exist with “Knitted Knockers” in their title. All of these are great organizations. For example, Knitters Knockers Charities which operates out of Arizona rather than Washington State, was featured on Knitting for Charity a few years ago.
This is such a fantastic way to make a difference in the life of breast cancer patients and survivors. Why not consider Knitted Knockers for your next charity knitting project?